When J. Murphy & Sons Ltd. won the Network Rail contract for replacing the single span underbridge at Brindle Chapel with a stronger structure, they looked for the best in steel beams, and so turned to Jamestown.
It was a challenging task. The bridge carries the Blackpool to Preston line over a public road, and the work needed to be completed in fifty-two hours, which included the removal of the existing superstructure and its replacement with steel billet decks on reinforced concrete cill beams.
Prior to the actual installation, a ballast retention system was set in place using steel H-beams. This reduced the time scale for the installation of the bridge itself and has proved to be an effective working method that will almost certainly be used in future projects.
Minimal Disruption, Safety Concerns
Much of the work was completed off-site, a method with which Jamestown Steel is highly experienced. There was extensive testing and a trial run in which the bridge was erected at the contractor’s site prior to the components being delivered to Brindle Chapel for the actual installation. This allowed for lower level working than is normally practicable, and the work was completed within the time frame, with very little disruption to local residents and the general public, and with a high level of safety for the workforce.
Innovations for Working in a Restricted Space
There was no room for a crane, and so a self-propelled mobile transporter carried the completed structure to the site, where it was installed using a gantry system. That system was then used to raise the bridge to the required high, and the SPMT then drove the bridge into its final position.
This was no task for beginners, and the highly experienced workforce needed all its skills in order to complete a very challenging project.
Well Deserved Praise
“Despite everything mother nature threw at us over the weekend we successfully completed another scheme. Many thanks to everyone involved in the excellent planning & implementation of the project.” (Ian Jones, Network Rail.)